Malegaon blast 2008: Pragya Thakur, others appear before special NIA court
The accused were summoned to court to record their statements under section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code, said Thakur’s lawyer
BJP MP and one of the prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, Pragya Singh Thakur, and five other co-accused appeared before a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai on Monday, a defence lawyer said.
They were summoned to the special court to record their statements under section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), said Thakur’s lawyer JP Mishra.
“However, since another accused, Sudhakar Dwivedi alias Swami Amrutanand Shankaracharya, was absent, the court adjourned the matter to 3 October. All accused shall remain present on the next date to record their statements and the process could go on for up to two or three months,” said Mishra.
The development came after the prosecution informed the special judge on 14 September that the process of recording of evidence in the case was completed and no further prosecution witnesses needed to be examined in the 15-year terror strike case.
Mishra said once the recording of evidence is completed by the prosecution, the court records the statements of the accused under CrPC section 313.
The special court will question the accused on various aspects of the case and grant them an opportunity to personally explain any specific circumstances in the evidence against them, he said.
On Monday, besides Thakur, retired army officers Ramesh Upadhyay and Prasad Purohit, along with Sudhakar Chaturvedi, Ajay Rahirkar and Sameer Kulkarni were present in court, which issued a bailable warrant of Rs 5,000 against Dwivedi for his absence.
Nine people were killed and over 100 injured in the blast triggered by an explosive attached to a motorcycle near a mosque in Malegaon on 29 September, 2008, sparking panic in the minority-dominated town in Maharashtra's Nashik district.
The politically sensitive case was first probed by Nashik Police and then the Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad before the NIA took over in 2011.